Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Adoration That Offends

This appeared on the Desiring God Blog ( on April 22, 2009

(Author: Tyler Kenney)

There is no other name [than Jesus] by which men can be saved.
These words from Acts 4:12 filled the screen in worship as we sang "There Is No Other Name." And it struck me again how incredibly exclusive they are.
I thought to myself, "Man, what a strong thing to say! In singing this, I'm immediately dismissing every other religion in the world. If they could hear me, no doubt I'd offend billions of people."
Paul commands the Corinthians,
Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:32-33)
So why would I sing something in worship to Christ that I know is causing others (who I want to be saved!) to be offended?
Here's why:
Offense is only one result of my singing, not the aim. I'm not singing in order to make other people upset. Nor am I trying to gloat over them or "seek my own advantage."
We sing "no other name" because it is the truth. And we sing it with joy because it glorifies our Savior. It is a beautiful expression of his worth and our love for him. And to refrain from singing it so as not to offend others would instead be an offense to him.
We show more love for others than we do for Christ if we don't say that his is the only name by which men can be saved. And that's wrong! Jesus is our first love.
We shouldn't stop singing humble, honest lyrics to our Savior that happen to offend others. But with our singing, we must also spread the good news that no one needs to remain offended. God is still gathering a choir of people reconciled to him from every tribe and tongue.

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